Bosnia election officials investigate possible vote-rigging

Oct 6, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Oct 7, 2022, 7:37 am
Branislav Borenovic, leader of Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), addresses the media after submit...

Branislav Borenovic, leader of Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), addresses the media after submitting a request for a recount and cancellation of election for the President of the Republic of Srpska, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Armin Durgut)

(AP Photo/Armin Durgut)

              Jelena Trivic, of Party of Democratic Progress (PDP) addresses the media after submitting a request for a recount and cancellation of election for the President of the Republic of Srpska, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Armin Durgut)
            
              Branislav Borenovic, leader of Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), addresses the media after submitting a request for a recount and cancellation of election for the President of the Republic of Srpska, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Armin Durgut)
            
              Protesters kiss opposition candidate Jelena Trivic during protest against alleged election fraud in a general elections in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, 240 kms northwest of Sarajevo, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. Opposition parties asking to open the bags and recount the votes for the President of Republika Srpska. (AP Photo/Radivoje Pavicic)
            
              People protest against alleged election fraud in a general elections in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, 240 kms northwest of Sarajevo, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. Opposition parties asking to open the bags and recount the votes for the President of Republika Srpska. (AP Photo/Radivoje Pavicic)

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnia’s election authorities expressed concerns Friday over widespread problems at polling stations and reports of irregularities and vote-rigging in the general election last weekend. They ordered ballot checks at over 1,000 polling stations and promised to investigate all potential failings before certifying the results of the vote.

Members of the country’s central, multi-ethnic election commission shared their concerns a day after thousands of people protested in Banja Luka, the main city in Bosnia’s Serb-run part, alleging that a pro-Russia Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, rigged the vote on Sunday to win the position that he sought.

Dodik, the most powerful Bosnian Serb politician since 2006, denied the allegations, including a claim by protesters that poll workers loyal to his political party, SNSD, had altered vote tallies to reduce the number of ballots cast for his contender, Jelena Trivic, and hand him the victory.

Bosnia’s election commission president, Suad Arnautovic, said Friday the body had to order the unsealing of ballot boxes and vote recounts at around 1,000 polling stations –16% of all such locations in the country. He said that’s because poll workers there “did not do their job in accordance with the law.”

“They failed to fill out necessary forms…(and) some of their vote tallies were contrary to the rules of mathematics,” he said.

Ballots and other election material from the affected polling stations, spread over 60 different cities and municipalities, were being shipped to the central vote counting center in the capital of Sarajevo to be further examined, Arnautovic said.

Bosnia’s general election included races for different levels of government in one of the world’s most complicated institutional set-ups. Bosnia’s political structure was agreed upon in a U.S.-sponsored peace deal that ended more than 3½ years of bloodshed in the 1990s between its three main ethnic groups: Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.

The peace agreement divided the country into two highly independent governing entities — Serb-run Republika Srpska and the other shared by Bosniaks and Croats. Each entity has its own president, parliament and government, but the two are linked by shared, multi-ethnic institutions.

The election on Sunday included contests for the three members of Bosnia’s shared, multi-ethnic presidency, parliament deputies at different levels of governance and the president of Republika Srpska, which Dodik was running for.

Under Bosnia’s electoral rules, votes are counted at polling stations by poll workers who are appointed by the country’s central election commission but are all nominated by political parties and coalitions that are running in an election. The central election commission collects poll station tallies, examines them for irregularities and runs recounts where necessary before certifying the results of a vote.

The commission has for years called for electoral law reforms, insisting that appointments of poll workers by political parties increases the risk of vote-rigging.

“I fear that many polling station committees will be the subject of criminal investigations,” said Irena Hadziabdic, a commission member.

However, she added: “Rest assured that (the central election commission) will not undermine our own integrity…we will do our best to investigate all complaints and irregularities.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Judge, pot shop robbery...
Associated Press

Washington state man charged in 34-year-old Wisconsin murder

A Washington state man has been charged in the 1988 slaying of a Wisconsin woman after he was identified using "familial DNA searching"
19 hours ago
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)...
Associated Press

District to pay $5M over teen’s death at football practice

A Washington school district will pay $5.25 million to the family of a high school student who died from a heart attack during a 2018 football practice.
19 hours ago
Nina Fernandez, whose son is an inmate at Ely State Prison, speaks to television reporters during a...
Associated Press

No food in 9 days for 19 Nevada prisoners on hunger strike

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Through stifled sobs, Nina Fernandez described on Friday a different version of events than those shared by Nevada prison officials as to why her son and dozens of others have been on hunger strike at a maximum-security prison for more than a week. The Nevada Department of Corrections has said the […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Crimina...
Associated Press

Jury goes a week with no verdict at Weinstein rape trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors at the Los Angeles rape and sexual misconduct trial of Harvey Weinstein have been deliberating for a week without reaching a verdict. The jury of eight men and four women went home Friday afternoon and will return to resume deliberations on Monday morning. They must decide on two counts of […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Retired Air Force Col. Joseph W. Kittinger Jr., smiles during his induction into the Aviatio...
Associated Press

Joseph Kittinger, who set longtime parachute record, dies

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Retired Air Force Col. Joseph Kittinger, whose 1960 parachute jump from almost 20 miles (32 kilometers) above the Earth stood as a world record for more than 50 years, died Friday in Florida. He was 94. His death was announced by former U.S. Rep. John Mica and other friends. The […]
19 hours ago
In this image taken from El Paso County District Court video, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, center, sit...
Associated Press

Warnings on gay club shooter stir questions about old case

DENVER (AP) — A California woman who warned a judge last year about the danger posed by the suspect in the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooting said Friday that the deaths could have been prevented if earlier charges against the suspect weren’t dismissed. Jeanie Streltzoff — a relative of alleged shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich — […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Bosnia election officials investigate possible vote-rigging